Few days ago I was preparing for one of my future articles regarding the lack of conversation and attention around personal happiness (the article will be out in the near future). While I was collecting some data from all different sources I stumble across “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” a pyramid that consists of the 5 ingredients for happiness.
This was the first time that I’ve ever heart about this hierarchy and concept, I did a quick search and the things that I found out there fascinated me. My first thought was “I have to share this with the community!” But since I found it somewhere tucked away and just briefly mentioned in a info-graphic, I thought I want to write a full article about it, and give it a personal spin and add some of my thoughts as well.
So let’s jump in to it…
Before I start naming all the ingredients and telling you my personal story and adding some tips and advice that may benefit you, I need to point out that this is not my concept, even though I have my own vision and theories on what a fulfilling and happy life looks like (I agree with Maslow’s), these are the theories of scientists and people who have done their homework, I’m not taking any credit for the 5 ingredients, I’m only taking credit for my own thoughts.
Since this is a pyramid, the higher the level the higher the priority, let’s start from bottom to top.
Level 1 – Basic Biological Needs
Food, water, sleep, sex and so on – I don’t know what to comment regarding basic needs, but all I can say is that sometimes in life there may be a period that you may go without much sleep or sex, or there may be times when you will have to buy cheaper food. But know that this is not the end of the world, and for whatever reason you are put in that position don’t become highly dependent on 8 hours of sleep or sex or top-notch food, once you go through a period where you have little, you will appreciate much more a period where you have much.
Level 2 – Security
Talking about security in 2017 is not an easy task, nothing is guaranteed in life, everything changes and shifts all the time, I know that this doesn’t make you feel better or more secure, but this is ok, this blog is dedicated to overcoming adversity not hiding from it. So security of employment is something that I as a 27-year-old only saw in the movies and read in the books, I’ve only heard stories how my grandfather was telling me that when he was my age when you go to work in the factory you were there until retirement and you didn’t have to worry about losing your job. Now everything has changed, the internet and the culture flipped the world upside down. There are so many opportunities out there. Keep up to date with the markets and always have something to fall back on, if you lose your job or your business goes down. Try to develops as much different skills (that will be practical in real life) as you can, and constantly educate yourself. I think this will give you a bit of security the fact that you are developed enough so even if something unexpected happens you can still manage to figure it out, and always have a plan B and plan C.
Level 3 – Relationships
Take this advice from a person that lives in a different country with no family members in the country, spend as much time with your family as you can! I think that this level (except level 1 obviously) is the most crucial of them all, when it comes to happiness. Not everybody is good with communication and everyone has their own “baggage” from the past, but if you make the first step, it get’s easier from there. You may have all the money in the world but if you don’t have family and friends you are a poor person in my book.
Level 4 – Respect
We are getting in to an interesting territory right now, for me respect is everything, I’m not sure if it’s cultural or maybe I got it from my father (he was a military man) but I have a strict moral and respect code that I don’t break for no one, my advice on this level is, do the same – create your own moral/respect code. Here is some something practical that may help in order to create that code.
Get a note pad and a pen. OK let’s start. Write down:
- What do I stand for in life?
- Witch principle I wont break, not even for $1 Billion?
- What are my priorities in life?
- How hard I’m willing to defend each principle?
Answer all these questions honestly and think about them as much as you can, add some more questions that you think will help out, and overtime develop all the principles in to an official personal moral code. The sooner you create your code the better, the code will expand and change with the years and that’s completely normal.
I think that if you have a moral code and you are willing to uphold it no matter what, most sane and decent people will respect you for that (if you’re code is with good intentions).
And remember that respect is not something you buy from a store, it’s not handed to you at birth, it’s not a government program that you get every month and it’s not a grade that you get in school. Respect is always earned it’s never given!
Level 5 – Life Purpose
The most important ingredient for a highly fulfilled and happy life, Life purpose is something people realise at 12 or unfortunately they never find it, I have no idea how you can find your life purpose, I was born with mine. But the best advice I can give you, is never stop looking, confront your own life mystery and constantly ask yourself what is your purpose, what makes you happy? What makes you tick? Whats your hobbies and interests? There is no shame in not knowing what you want to do in life (most people have no idea) but the more you search and ask questions the sooner you will get all the answers you need.
I want to leave you with some practical stuff that you can try regarding the last level.
Get that note pad from earlier today and write down some questions:
- What are the things you are most passionate?
- If you had all the money that you needed, what will you do for a living?
- What makes you forget about the world around you?
- What job are you willing to do (if you can choose from any) without getting paid for the next 10 years?
- What truly gets you up in the morning (don’t get cheeky and answer the alarm clock)?
Answer all these questions as honestly as you can, and you will have made the first step towards finding your life purpose, finding out your life purpose will take time, maybe months, years or decades, just don’t stop searching for the answers you are looking for.
OK folks there you have it, with this article I want to start the conversation not to end it. I want to hear from you, what do you think about the 5 levels of Maslow, is he right? Did he miss something? And what makes you tick and excited? Looking forward to your comments and drop me an email at any time.
Related Content – “The Art of Happiness” (Book Review)
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